Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Anonymity in a crowd of voices

A recent college grad I've known for the last year was picking my brain on blogging. She expressed interest in having a blog but worried about who would see what she wrote. See, she wanted to write about the experience of planning a wedding: the good, the bad, and the often ugly (yes horrendous bridesmaid dresses that rain down horror and ill-fittingness I'm pointing my finger at you). She was trying to balance the catharsis of talking about the craziness of wedding planning with not hurting anyone's feelings. I suggested having a blog without her name attached and telling no one about it. And then she said the all too true statement of "But then no one will read it."

Even in this world where people can expose their thoughts with almost total anonymity we still want to be heard. Even if what we have to say might hurt someone's feelings or generally piss off a whole other group of people we still want our thoughts to be heard and received. We want the truth of what we think or feel or are dealing with to be known by others.

And there is the trade-off. If you really want what you have to say to be heard you have to give up some of your anonymity. You have to deal with the fall-out of letting others into your thoughts and opinions. Sometimes the price is worth it because you were able to speak what was once unspoken and share what was true to you; but other times the cost is high, too high, and we mute our voices and hold back out thoughts.

How does this play out in real life, outside the blog? What is the cost to returns equation that keeps us silent or pushes us to open our mouths? And is that how we should decide to speak up? Should speaking up or sharing an opinion be based on the reaction we anticipate it receiving or should it be based on something more: truth, honesty, openness, and vulnerability?

Is anonymity good or is it something we hide behind so we don't have to expose our true selves or maybe just even truth?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Letting out the inner monologue

So after two and a half years in FW, I realized I've squelched my inner monologue that once poored forth so freely on this blog. I'm not sure if it's a lack of subject matter or time, or more just a lack of putting effort into writing out my thoughts, but whatever the reason I'm committing to start posting again. This blog was always more about a place to write that continual conversation that happens in my head between me and myself and have some sort of evidence of what I was processing at the moment. So here goes, a choice to start writing again. We'll see what happens when I start letting the conversations and thoughts transfer to the page.